The impact of three generation potaton seed multiplication and distribution project on potato yields, Kieni West District, Nyeri County, Kenya
Kariuki, David K
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Potato is an important food security crop in Kenya and therefore has attracted many projects with the aim of increasing potato yields at the farm level with the main objective of increasing food security in the country. These projects have had different degrees of success. This study sought to determine the extent to which the interventions of three generation potato seed multiplication and distribution project ( 3G Project) impacted on potato yields of its farmer beneficiaries. The objective of the study was to determine the extent the adoption the three technologies disseminated to the farmers impacted on their potato yields. These technologies were, use of positive seed selection, use of clean potato seeds and use of good agricultural practices. The study was guided by Rogers Diffusion of Innovation Theory of 1995. The research adopted a descriptive survey design using both qualitative and quantitative research paradigms. 294 farmers who benefited from the project were the target population from whom a sample of 88 farmers was selected using simple random sampling procedure. The study found out that 3G project had a positive impact on the potato yields of the farmer beneficiaries of this project. By adoption of technologies introduced by the project, potato yields increased from 34.3 bags to 55.5 bags a 61.8% increase. 98.3 % of the farmers had adopted positive seed selection technique and through it 87.5% of seed requirement at the farm level was being met. Use of certified seeds was adopted by 61.0%. Unavailability and high cost of the seeds was cited as the main reasons for this technology not being fully adopted. Farmers using this technology had increased potato yields from 34.3 bags to 65.3 bags, a 78.1 % increase in yield. 100% of the farmers were found to be aware of good agricultural practices and to be practicing them. Good agricultural practices were found to contribute to a great extent to the achieved potato yields by 88.1 % of the farmers. The study concluded that 3G project had had a positive impact on potato yields by increasing potato yields from 34.3 bags to 55.5 bags. The study recommended that the project be replicated to other districts and it be expanded to cover all potato farmers in Kieni West District. It also recommended that Government subsidized fertilizer be increased and made more available to the farmers. The other recommendations were KARl to partner with seed stockists to make certified seeds more available to the farmers and the Government to subsidize certified potato seed to make it affordable to the farmers.